Final plea on Euro fighter

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The Independent Online
LONDON - Defence ministers of Britain, Spain and Italy, the three nations remaining in the European Fighter Aircraft (EFA) project, agreed yesterday to make one last attempt to persuade Germany to rejoin the scheme, writes Christopher Bellamy. But if that fails, they will probably go ahead with a three-nation project, although they said they would welcome any other member of the nine-country Western European Union wishing to join the enterprise. It seems most unlikely that any will.

Malcolm Rifkind, the Secretary of State for Defence, said yesterday that preliminary costings indicated that there would be no extra cost to the remaining countries if they went ahead on a tri-national basis, although Germany's continued participation was politically desirable.